Adding my two pennyworth to the process of upbringing

Fr Ireneusz Skubis

Nowadays we are facing the problem of young people who are able to make attempts on their lives. We also hear about an increasing wave of cruelty displayed by young people whose physical strength is fully developed and who react aggressively to ordinary human problems such as long child's wailing, ironical comments of their environments, which they do not know how to deal with. So one can clearly see the need to teach people civilised ways to deal with more and more common stress, ways that would lead to do good, at the same time rejecting the most popular and most dangerous ways shown in films, rejecting the solution to use force or attempting to escape problems in a childish way. One can still see that Minister Giertych attempts to reanimate certain remaining elements of the normal education-upbringing system, and at the same time he falls into disfavour with almost all political parties and schools, on which he lays new additional responsibilities, and he also falls into disfavour with parents who feel excused from fulfilling their duty to bring up their children because of difficulties in finding jobs, and sometimes they simply prefer watching their favourite television programmes instead of devoting their time to children. If only they created some favourable climate for the Church that could teach them and their children a lot of things and could make them see many issues in a different way, to make them see their problems in the light of the Gospel.
But the circle is closed and people, especially the young ones, fall into despair or helplessness instead of following the footsteps of St Peter the Apostle who could change his sad experiences into foundation of a wonderful edifice, they follow Judas and people like that and aim at complete destruction.
Therefore, there is a much wider problem of upbringing - to good life - and overcoming hardships, and actually one can always find some moral good and good that brings about solution in the most difficult situations.
Example plays crucial role in any process of education. 'Words teach, examples draw', the old maxim says. The thing is that all who are educators should realise that their charges, the subordinates and the nation verify the truths they have heard looking at their examples. I mean the nation because our governmental elite also plays the role of educators. Special educators are those who teach religious instruction: priests, nuns and lay catechists. Their words are automatically verified by their attitudes, and the possible rift is carried and generalised onto the whole Church and causes much harm to the whole work of evangelisation.
It also seems that as a bigger community we should react more strongly to all 'novelties' that are forced into the educational system under the pretext of wide opening to the world. Various sorts of questionnaires which only serve to demoralise our children, to distort their attitudes towards normal relationships with their peers, to arouse their sensual passions too earlier, causing that they cannot give socially desired vent to their passions without being emotionally matured. All these educational novelties should be necessarily consulted; the fact that parents have been excluded from discussing them means that they are regarded as incompetent and simply stupid as far as the upbringing of the children is concerned.
And one more undoubtedly important comment concerning upbringing that comes to my mind. We, grown-ups, should create as many as possible friendly places, places where young people could spend time together, where new magnificent ideas, really inspiring young personalities and bringing concrete good, could be conceived. And above all these should be places where young people could feel the joy of being in community. I think there are many unused facilities, including former catechetical halls in parish buildings, where young people could share vibrant life. Besides, today's world, which isolates people, I mean the so-called rat race, makes people not able to collaborate with others, and brings about emptiness and loneliness, which can easily lead to doom. Being together - friendliness and cordiality - is also the key to solve many existential problems.
Today we entrust all those who experience hardships of daily life to Lord Jesus, the Good Teacher, and from the human point of view we should do our best to prevent the most appalling tragedies.

"Pokolenie" 2/2007

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: